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To meet the push for mortgage brokers to offer commercial finance, but understanding the knowledge and experience needed is not as simple as it sounds, two managing directors decided to take matters into their own hands.
Matthew Johnson and Jean-Pierre Gortan, managing directors of Simplicity Loans & Advisory, launched the platform Marketplace Finance at the latter part of FY2019. The brokerage recently won the 2019 AMA NextGen.Net New Brokerage of the Year.
Speaking to MPA, Johnson said Marketplace Finance is a platform that provides brokers with “an immediate and short-term solution to complete on commercial transactions whilst dealing with clients in a safe and secure manner”.
“Marketplace Finance is a fulfillment business which leverages technology to provide a seamless platform that facilitates the transfer of information, allowing the Marketplace Finance team to respond to transactions and broker requests in a short time period,” he said.
According to Gortan, Simplicity has created a community that allows their team to elevate the broking industry through training programs and their experience and connections. Success for them is not only determined by their ability to write businesses, but by how they are able to help other brokers upskill and write commercial deals without Simplicity’s involvement.
“The more the industry is able to demonstrate to customers that they are the right people to talk to instead of going to a bank, it’s the right pull for everyone,” Gortan said.
“The idea is to help brokers learn how to fish, rather than just feeding them.”
The Marketplace Finance team works closely with IT consultants and their aggregator FAST to ensure the platform consistently meets the needs of commercial brokers.
Marketplace Finance’s lodgement portal and dashboard feature allows brokers to receive real-time progress updates of applications and to track commissions payable.
To date, over 100 referrers (brokers, solicitors, accountants, etc.) have come on board the platform, and the number climbs daily. Marketplace Finance undergoes weekly changes based on referrer feedback received by its team.
“The one challenge we face is that commercial lending is complex and it’s very difficult to make every deal fit within a certain set of parameters. It has become quite a complex algorithm which requires constant tweaking,” Johnson said.
“As a result, the Marketplace Finance platform will continue to change and develop in line with market demands.”
Never a finished product
The vision for Marketplace Finance over the coming months is to “become recognised as a key driver in elevating the commercial broking industry”, helping brokers and industry players across Australia to capitalise on the ever-growing market.
The platform’s next major update includes a function that generates an indicative term sheet based on the criteria of the submitted deal, as well as a live chat function that would allow referrers to easily correspond with BDMs and credit managers.
“The system and model itself will never be a finished product; rather the team at Marketplace Finance is embarking on a road of continual improvement, learning from our referrers, our lenders, our consultants and ultimately our clients,” Johnson said.
“As the industry continues to develop in the future there will always be changes to be made to perfect the system to stay in front of market demand.”
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